The Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the AR of Crimea Anton Korynevych at the Unity Forum in Mariupol, themed “From endless future plans for tomorrow. Humanitarian policy of Ukraine for maintaining contacts with the citizens, residing in the TOT” noted that it was important for Ukraine to have contacts with the Crimean children and youth. They are the resource, which will help us to regain the Ukrainian statehood in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol City.
Anton Korynevych drew attention to the challenges in education for the Crimeans, including certain mechanisms, promoting the restoration of the contacts with the Crimean youth.
According to the Permanent Representative, there are some serious educational constrains faced by Crimeans in the temporarily occupied territory. First of all it is maintaining educational policy in the temporarily occupied territory regarding:
- The elimination of civic identity (identity as citizens of Ukraine) by oppressing national identity of Ukrainians and Crimean Tartars via decreasing teaching and learning of language, history, culture, traditions, including criminal persecution for pro-Ukrainian position. The occupier needs “soviet citizen” lacking personality who does not know his/her language and has forgotten the traditions and culture. More than 200 thousands children study at Crimean schools, while there is only one 9-year Ukrainian school. Only about 250 thousands Crimean children get secondary education in Ukrainian and about 6 thousands study in Crimean Tartar. The Ukrainian language is mostly studied at the extracurricular lessons in Crimea. Despite the decision of the International Criminal Court dated 19 April 2017, which obligates the Russian Federation to provide the access to education in Ukrainian in Crimea, the occupying authorities continue to destruct the education in Ukrainian, including study of the “History of Ukraine” course ceased in 2014.
- Replacement of civic identity to militarization of education, aggression and rejection of all Ukrainian and readiness to accept war, aggression, occupation is a normal thing. Junarmy, kozak schools and classes. Junior army is a Russian military patriotic movement in Crimea started in 2016. The units of the Junarmy for instance were organized at schools in Sevastopol. The Junarmy subdivisions are in all districts of the occupied Crimea. On 27 October 2019 the Russian mass media reported that in Yalta school, the students of the cadet class, wearing knives and hammers, strangle and beat other children, intimidate other people. Creating image of inside enemy from among the pro-Ukrainian activists and Crimean Tartar ones and external enemy (Ukraine).
Why are the children and youth important for us? Why is it necessary for us to work with them? All this, because the adult citizens, residing in the temporarily occupied Crimea remember and know Ukraine. We should contact with them and continue to maintain communication. But every year the children and youth are less aware about us, about Ukraine. And we should turn back our people first than simply reintegrate territories and that is why we should work with the children and youth not to preserve the civil identity of Crimean children and youth that the Russian Federation wants to destroy during the occupation.
To achieve this we will work on the following:
- The state support of the educational and cultural Crimean Tartar centers in the territory under the control of the Ukrainian Government. For instance, the center “Crimean Family”, functioning in Kyiv, it should be supported by Government and it must provide its activity as municipal or state non-school institution but not as the civic organization. And the work in this direction is ongoing.
- creation of the Fund/ Endowment supporting the Crimean educational and cultural initiatives and talented Crimeans, which will, among other things, become our reserve to help us in renovation of the Ukrainian statehood on Crimea after the de-occupation ( grants, support of the activity of the organization etc.)